Anonymous User wrote:
OP here. Thank you for your response. May I ask a few follow-ups?
First, how does the firm determine which cases an entry-level gets to work on and therefore get bonusesed on?
Second, how do you measure writing skills? Your 1L writing grade? Your 2L and 3L writing grades? Writing samples? Journals? Publications? Just plain experience--i.e., if you have written a lot of briefs, you're presumed to be a better writer?
Third, what is the typical hiring life-cycle for a Plaintiffs' firm? This is where I have the least visibility, relative to OCI. What does the hiring life-cycle start with? (Mass-mail? Phone call? Referral? Offer of lunch?) When does it start? (Mid-2L year? Late-3L year?) What happens in the middle? (You wait to hear if you've gotten a callback with a slate of associates and partners and a committee decides? You're invited for an interview with the hiring partner and he decides? You follow-up and get them to move as fast as possible?) How does it end? (An unpaid internship period? A "summer associateship" with a low-to-non-existent offer rate?)
Fourth, and unrelated: how soon do you specialize in legit Plaintiffs' law? And to what degree would you specialize?
Sorry for all the pestering, but I have a big appetite for information on this subject.
Everything is based on the dockets. Meaning we staff a docket with a managing attorney and a responsible attorney. So for example, I do nothing on certain dockets, like property damage (thank god). But if at the intake level I sign up a case thats on my docket, I'll be the responsible attorney. Now when we add a new docket, its largely dependent on who has the least work or has shown the partners that they have earned some more responsibility. This is particularly true when add a new Pharma case (which is normally a ton of work).
Writing skill to me is determined by the quality of your work (for hiring based on the writing sample you supply). I wouldn't care at all about a writing grade.
Hiring is pretty dependent on the size of the firm and the needs available. Very unlikely that it would be an OCI type system. A lot of Plaintiffs firms do like to hire law clerks during law school, which can be a great experience and a foot in the door. For my firm it basically depends on the needs of the firm, if we are taking on some expansive cases, or opening a new office in a different city.
Specializing is an interesting question. There are definitely different types of skills for a Plaintiffs lawyer. Trial experience for example is tough to come by and takes years and years. A specialist in the law can be much easier. For me- its largely a progression. I start with court hearings, then defending depos, then taking depos, then more substantive hearings and pre-trial, mediation, and more and more responsibility.
I think after about a year, I feel significantly more qualified then when I started. But I also know that I have a ton of work left to do, and a ton of areas to improve. Im not ready to open up my own shop yet, if thats what you are asking. I think I need 3 or 4 years before I'm at that point.